There’s a reason why John Hughes set many of his famous movies like “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in the northern Chicago suburb of Northbrook: it’s simply awesome (and I’m not saying that just because it is my wonderful hubby’s hometown). Northbrook is one of those beautiful places that truly personifies “The American Dream” and its downtown park is a perfect place to spend a day with your family.
Located in the heart of downtown Northbrook at the intersection of Shermer and Meadow Roads, the Village Green is a vast park with many attributes that will engage the young and old alike. If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that my boys are OBSESSED with water fountains. Well, the Village Green has something even slightly more engaging…a WATER FALL. Every time we drive past it or visit it ourselves, there are always kids enraptured by the sights and sounds of the gushing water, and I’m sure the parents accompanying their kiddos enjoy the soothing sounds as well.
Another one of my boys’ favorite park feature is the sand area at the Village Green. And by “sand area,” I don’t mean a tiny corner filled with dirty sand. Oh, no. There is a HUGE area with immaculate sand and lots of sand toys that are permanently affixed to the park, so if you forget to bring your own sand toys, the Village of Northbrook has you covered. We typically spend most of our time here because my boys love sharing toys with other kids, digging for treasures, and just simply enjoying the feel of sand between their toys. And I must admit, I don’t blame them!
But the water fall and sand area aren’t the only things the Village Green has to offer. There are also tons of well kept playground structures for kids of all ages and abilities to enjoy. I especially love that there is a separate section for swings (away from the slides and whatnot) so that it is very rare that kids inadvertently walk into a swinging friend.
Another great safety feature is how the slides and climbing structures for the itty bitty toddlers are almost fully surrounded by a low wall so that your littlest ones are contained and stay where there is soft foam flooring to break their falls.
Now that L is getting older, he is becoming brave enough to tackle the big kid slides, and although it scares me to see him so high off the ground, I’m glad that I have a clear view of him when I am with M on the smaller play structures. The park planners really must have been parents themselves, because the safety features and the position of things lets you keep your eyes on your kiddos no matter where they are…and the best part? There are bathrooms. And they are CLEAN.
I have to admit that the first time I ever went to this park I was not paying any attention to it because I was so excited to be walking alongside a really cute guy and trying hard not to trip in my heels. You see, my husband and I walked through this park on our first date, and maybe that’s why I love bringing my boys here so much.
Now our “dates” here involve meeting Daddy during his lunch break and packing a picnic or grabbing a quick bite at one of the hot dog or pizza places across from the park. Nevertheless, this park has been VERY good to me and my boys. So good that John Hughes totally should have featured it in one of his films, if you ask me…